©

Tamil Nadu trip planner

Create a fully customized
day-by-day itinerary for free

Itinerary Planner
+ Add destination
2 adults
Adults
- +
Teens
- +
Kids
- +
Close

Tamil Nadu

Trip Planner Asia  /  India  /  Tamil Nadu
(34,000+ reviews from top 30 attractions)
Historic Sites Sightseeing Nature

Land of Tamils

Home to a Tamil population that speaks one of the world's oldest languages, the state of Tamil Nadu appeals to tourists with its many Hindu temples, beach resorts, charming hill stations, and World Heritage Sites. Several major civilizations have thrived in this area over the last 2,000 years, including the famous Chola, Chera, Pallava, and Pandya. Today, a trip to Tamil Nadu reveals its unique heritage blending elements of all the cultures that lived and died here, leaving their mark on the area's cuisine, music, religious traditions, and literature. In an ancient land steeped in history, state capital Chennai serves as a modern and convenient tourist base, providing great shopping, dining, and entertainment options. Use our custom trip planner: Tamil Nadu and all its delights await.
Read the Tamil Nadu Holiday Planning Guide »
Create a full itinerary — for free!

Plan your trip to Tamil Nadu

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plan in the cities

Visit top cities in Tamil Nadu:
Historic sites, beaches, shopping
Visit for: 4 daysStart a plan »
Nature, parks, sightseeing
Visit for: 3 daysStart a plan »
Nature, sightseeing, parks
Visit for: 2 daysStart a plan »
Sightseeing, historic sites, beaches
Visit for: 2 daysStart a plan »
Historic sites, museums, sightseeing
Visit for: 2 daysStart a plan »

Recently planned trips to Tamil Nadu

3 days in Ooty BY A USER FROM INDIA July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Ooty BY A USER FROM INDIA May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Ooty BY A USER FROM INDIA June, kids, popular PREFERENCES: June, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in Bengaluru, Mysuru (Mysore) & Ooty BY A USER FROM INDIA July, teens, popular PREFERENCES: July, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Ooty BY A USER FROM INDIA July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Ooty BY A USER FROM INDIA June, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: June, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 12 days in Kodagu (Coorg), Ooty & Kodaikanal BY A USER FROM INDIA October, kids, popular PREFERENCES: October, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Ooty BY A USER FROM INDIA June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Ooty BY A USER FROM INDIA June, culture, relaxing, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: June, culture, relaxing, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Coimbatore BY A USER FROM INDIA May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Valparai BY A USER FROM INDIA July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Madurai BY A USER FROM INDIA June, kids, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: June, kids, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans

Tamil Nadu Holiday Planning Guide

Home to a Tamil population that speaks one of the world's oldest languages, the state of Tamil Nadu appeals to tourists with its many Hindu temples, beach resorts, charming hill stations, and World Heritage Sites. Several major civilizations have thrived in this area over the last 2,000 years, including the famous Chola, Chera, Pallava, and Pandya. Today, a trip to Tamil Nadu reveals its unique heritage blending elements of all the cultures that lived and died here, leaving their mark on the area's cuisine, music, religious traditions, and literature. In an ancient land steeped in history, state capital Chennai serves as a modern and convenient tourist base, providing great shopping, dining, and entertainment options.

Places to Visit in Tamil Nadu

Destinations in Tamil Nadu

Chennai (Madras): The state capital bursts with historical attractions, temples, and sacred sites, plus an urban touch of small galleries, bars, and parks.

Ooty: One of the top places to visit in Tamil Nadu, this verdant town is famous for tea gardens and the fresh scent of eucalyptus trees in the air.

Madurai: Learn more about ancient Tamil culture and history at its source, full of Hindu temples and educational museums.

Kodaikanal: Lush nature, a tranquil lake, and hills full of magnolias, mahoganies, and rhododendrons set the scene for a relaxing Tamil Nadu vacation.

Kanyakumari: Explore the southernmost part of India, where the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea, and Bay of Bengal meet; on land, abundant temples serve as an important pilgrimage site.

Popular Tamil Nadu Tourist Attractions

Sri Meenakshi Temple: Dedicated to the avatar of the goddess Parvati, this vast, elaborate temple offers walking trails and a golden lotus pond.

Marina Beach: Although not for swimming, this long urban beach makes a great Tamil Nadu vacation idea: picnic on the golden sand coastline and then take a relaxing stroll on the promenade.

Kodaikanal Lake: Enjoy relaxing boat and bike rides, picnics, and walks in the forested areas of this scenic star-shaped lake.

Botanical Gardens: Include these verdant gardens on your Tamil Nadu itinerary and inspect some 650 species of plants and trees across Doddabetta Mountain.

Vivekananda Rock Memorial: The alleged enlightenment site of Vivekananda now boasts a huge temple jutting from rock formations overlooking the sea.

Ooty Lake: Paddle a boat around this vast lake surrounded by eucalyptus forest, have a picnic, or head to the adjacent amusement park if seeking more adventure.

Kapaleeshwar Temple: Adorned with ornate stucco figurines, colorful facades, and a flamboyant peacock representation of Shiva, this Dravidian-style temple ranks among the highlights of Tamil Nadu sightseeing.

Doddabetta Peak: Hike up this 2,637 m (8,650 ft) peak, where on clear days the views extend to the nearby plains of Coimbatore.

Nilgiri Mountain Railway: Ride an original steam locomotive along the steepest mountain railway at this World Heritage-listed attraction.

Ramanathaswamy Temple: One India's most important religious sites, this Jyotirlinga boasts colonnades of sandstone pillars, long corridors, and 22 holy wells where devotees bathe.

Planning a Tamil Nadu Vacation with Kids

Places to Visit in Tamil Nadu with Kids

Most Tamil Nadu holiday destinations focus on the state's natural wonders and temples, infused with a family-friendly environment. Scores of hill stations, verdant terraces, and a botanical garden make Ooty one of the top places to visit in Tamil Nadu with kids, especially in the pleasant summer temperatures. Another destination famous for hill stations, Kodaikanal generally remains less crowded and invigorates with its abundant eucalyptus trees. Around Mudumalai, enjoy the diverse nature and look for animal sanctuaries and safari trips through the national park.

The southernmost tip of the whole Indian subcontinent has slowly become a popular tourist destination, with plenty of beaches, historical monuments, and religious temples. Here, the largest city Chennai (Madras) features beaches, parks, shopping malls, and nature reserves.

Things to Do in Tamil Nadu with Kids

You'll find a diversity of attractions to fill your family's Tamil Nadu itinerary. Head to the mountainside Botanical Gardens to explore its rich collection of plants in a relaxing environment. Rent a paddleboat on Kodaikanal Lake or Ooty Lake, and pack a picnic to enjoy on the shore.

Marina Beach offers some good activities, with picnic areas and two swimming pools where kids can splash around. The ghost town of Dhanushkodi Beach will fascinate some kids, with its ruins set against the sand and sea.

Nature-lovers can observe and learn more about crocodiles at Madras Crocodile Bank, the first crocodile breeding center in Asia, while thrill-seekers shouldn't miss a ride on the steepest mountain railway with Nilgiri Mountain Railway.

Tips for a Family Vacation in Tamil Nadu

For a safe and pleasant Tamil Nadu holiday, follow couple of rules, applicable in general in India. Malaria risks are high, so ensure everyone gets vaccinated before traveling. Other recommended vaccines include tetanus, hepatitis A, and typhoid--but check with your doctor well in advance for the latest advice. Pack plenty of hand sanitizer and use it frequently, especially with your kids. Likewise, have a basic medical kit with you in case of Dengue fever or diarrhea (very common). Always use bottled water from well-known brands and in case of dehydration, look for coconut milk. Keep your kids away from street dogs and cats, who may have rabies. Lastly, driving can get quite chaotic, so be vigilant around traffic.

Dining and Shopping on Holiday in Tamil Nadu

Cuisine of Tamil Nadu

A trip to Tamil Nadu gives you the chance to try a very diverse cuisine with flavors like curry, coriander, ginger, and garlic, and staple ingredients of legumes and rice. One of most popular dishes is biryani, an aromatic rice dish with vegetables and meat. You'll find plenty of food stalls selling parrotta, a flatbread usually served with meat, and be sure to sample crepe-like dosas with a variety of chutneys.

If traveling between regions during your tour of Tamil Nadu, you'll note that each has its own specialties. In Nanjilnadu, for example, seek out the trademark fish curry. Those with a sweet tooth in western Kongunadu can indulge in oputu, a sweet pizza, or ulundu kali, a dessert made from mung beans, sesame oil, and jaggery.

Shopping in Tamil Nadu

When shopping for souvenirs of your Tamil Nadu holiday, you'll have plenty of memorable items from which to choose. Traditional Tanjore paintings make colorful decoration for walls, while fragrant sambrani incense, is a sold nearly everywhere. Ladies may appreciate one of the elegant silver anklets favored among Chennai women. Other decorative souvenirs include Hindu dolls, sandalwood products, terracotta decor, and golden ornaments of deities. Don't forget to bring home the aroma of Chennai with a bag of its famous coffee.

Know Before You Go on a Trip to Tamil Nadu

Interesting Facts About Tamil Nadu

● The Tamil language belongs to the Dravidian family and is one of the oldest languages still spoken in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Singapore, and Sri Lanka.

● Brihadeeswarar Temple represents the world's first temple made from granite, sculpted from an 80-ton piece of the rock.

● Marina Beach ranks as the second-longest urban beach in the world after the famous Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro.

● Tamil Nadu is the birthplace of Carnatic music, an ancient system with a prominent vocal element backed by a small ensemble of classical instruments.

Holidays & Festivals in Tamil Nadu

Depending on the timing of your Tamil Nadu holiday, you may catch one of a handful of colorful, lively--and tasty--festivals. One of the largest celebrations happens in January with the harvest festival, Pongal, when people adorn their houses in bright colors and rice ornaments, and, of course, cook up specialties.

If your trip to Tamil Nadu falls in April, you can celebrate the New Year here. Locals deck out the entrances to their houses and indulge in the sweet and sour specialty, mango pachadi, made from jaggery, mangoes, and neem flowers.

Immerse yourself in the richness of Indian culture at the multiday Natyanjali Dance Festival, which draws traditional dancers from all over the country and the world in a vibrant gathering to celebrate Lord Nataraja.

Useful Tamil Nadu Travel Tips

Climate of Tamil Nadu

The region of Tamil Nadu has a tropical climate with hot temperatures and seasonal monsoons. Conditions vary depending on where you go, though, so take this into consideration when planning. Probably the best time for a trip to Tamil Nadu is from November until February, with temperatures ranging between 35-17 C (95-62 F). At the height of summer, in April and May, temperatures often go above 40 C (109 F), and even the coastlines remain hot and humid, relieved only by cool night breezes. Still, if your itinerary takes you to the hill stations, this may prove a good time to go, since temperatures rarely rise above 20 C (68 F).

The rainy season lasts from October and December, bringing an average of 63.5-190.5 cm (25-75 in) of rain. Nilgiris and other hill regions receive the most precipitation, and are not particularly amenable to travel.

Transportation in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu boasts the densest railroad network in India, and that says a lot. But if you aren't keen on a train tour of Tamil Nadu, look up the city and intercity private bus operators, servicing tourist attractions and religious sites. In the cities, you can get around using the popular auto rickshaws and taxi services. To take things at your own pace, rent a car in Chennai and enjoy the well-developed highway network connecting Tamil Nadu's major regional cities.